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What happens to my mortgage after a divorce?

Within divorce proceedings, the court can order that a property is sold and that the mortgage is discharged from the proceeds of sale before the remaining balance is distributed to the parties, thus bringing the mortgage to an end.

The court also has the power to order that a property owned in joint names is transferred into one of the spouse’s sole name. However the court cannot order the mortgage provider to transfer the mortgage into one of the parties’ names. A number of options are available to resolve this. Depending on the financial circumstances, the spouse receiving the property may be able to re-mortgage the property into their sole name. If that is not possible and the mortgage has to remain in joint names, the court may require the spouse retaining the property to be responsible for the mortgage and provide an indemnity to the other party so that if they stop paying the mortgage, the other spouse can take action against them. Alternatively, in certain cases, a court may transfer the property into one spouse’s name but order that the other spouse continues to pay the mortgage, perhaps for a period of time such as until children reach a particular age.